*Texas Democratic lawmakers have been trying for years to remove Confederate Heroes Day from state calendars, and they’re hoping that 2021 could be the year that it finally happens.
The holiday falls one day after Martin Luther King Jr. Day and simultaneously celebrates Confederate soldiers and Robert E. Lee’s birthday. A bill filed in 2019 to abolish the holiday failed, but lawmakers believe the amount of racial unrest last summer could work in their favor this legislative session.
“The killing of George Floyd, a Texan, and the killing of Atatiana Jefferson, another Texan, at the hands of law enforcement, certainly do underscore the importance of removing a day of remembrance that brings to the mind slavery and oppression,” said state Rep. Nicole Collier, as reported by the Texas Tribune’s Neelam Bohra.
Houston state representatives Jarvis Johnson and Shawn Thierry filed two bills this session that attempt to abolish the holiday, with Johnson calling it a chance to erase hurtful imagery that serves as a reminder of the country’s horrible past.
“This is an opportunity for us to bring and shine light on social injustice, how Black people across this country have been demonized and have been treated unfairly by the judicial system, the criminal justice system,” Johnson said.